Marketing A Manufacturing Business – Best Practice Review


Recent research into marketing a manufacturing business delivers some useful insights. The report (published by CMI) is based on a sample of USA based manufacturing businesses and shows over 80% have adopted inbound marketing.

It is widely recognised that the B2B buying process has changed with most buyers carrying out their detailed research into potential solutions and suppliers before they make any approach to a potential vendor. Given the increased resistance to push type marketing increasing numbers of manufacturing businesses are switching to pull (inbound) marketing and attempting to engage potential customers.

Content marketing is a major element of inbound marketing adopted widely in other industryManufacturers switching to inbound marketing verticals but relatively new to manufacturing. The report shows that manufacturers are struggling to catch up with only 30% claiming they are currently happy with the quality and effectiveness of their content marketing activities.

Manufacturing Business Marketing – The Statistics

The key objective of content marketing for a manufacturing business is shown as brand awareness (87% of respondents), customer retention (68%), engagement (67%) and lead generation (67%). Measures of effectiveness are shown as website traffic (63%), sales lead quality (48%), time spent on website (45%) and sales lead quantity (42%).

The most effective content delivery methods show as in person events like seminar and exhibition (71% state as most effective), video (71%), case studies (67%) and white papers (58%).

The report shows that the major challenges faced by content marketers in manufacturing businesses are lack of time (69%), producing the kind of content that engages (62%) and producing enough content (56%). However, in our opinion, it fails to cover one of the major issues. That is the difficulties associated with choosing the delivery medium.

Marketing Tactics And Content Delivery

It is also a surprise that social media ranks 4th as the most used tactic (we would have expected it to rank lower) and even more of a surprise that Facebook is a more popular medium than Linked In. Less of a surprise is You Tube ranking as the most popular social media channel and the continued popularity (when compared with other markets) of print and Email. This, we suspect, is primarily because these delivery methods are perceived as those that have a higher chance of reaching the prospect or customer.

So in summary as manufacturing businesses attempt to build awareness and generate leads there is an ongoing move from outbound to inbound marketing. This trend brings with it new challenges associated with generating sufficient engaging and quality content to feed the process. It appears manufacturing businesses are not as advanced as other sectors in dealing with the resource and management issues that these challenges present.

The report fails to deal with the challenges associated with delivering content by the most appropriate channel to ensure it is available to the target customer and prospect base. Failure to address this point can nullify any benefit an inbound (content based) manufacturing marketing process may deliver. There is little point in talking if nobody is listening.